Hammond man, 74, killed  in 1-car Interstate 12 wreck

A 74-year-old man died early Saturday in a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 12 West about a half-mile west of the La. 445-Robert exit, a State Police spokesman said.

Sandra Thomas, 55, of Hammond, was driving a 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee shortly after midnight when the vehicle drifted off the right side of the road and spun clockwise before hitting a tree on its left front side, Trooper 1st Class Nick Manale said in a news release.

The vehicle continued into the tree line and struck a second tree with its rear end, Manale said.

The right rear passenger, Henry Conley, 74, of Hammond, was partially ejected from the vehicle and died in the crash, Manale said. He was not wearing a seat belt.

Thomas and her front seat passenger, Bernard Melton, 67, of Hammond, received minor injuries, Manale said. They were wearing seat belts.

The left rear passenger, Linda Willis, 60, of Hammond, also was properly restrained and sustained moderate injuries, Manale said.

Neither impairment nor speed are suspected as factors in the wreck, but the investigation is ongoing, Manale said.